Friday 20 April 2018

Man who broke bones leaping from third floor apartment gets three year suspended sentence

Sonya McClean

A MAN who broke "a huge number of bones" after he "leaped" from a third floor apartment when gardai arrived at his home to conduct a drugs search has been given a three year suspended sentence.

Jonathan Hopkins (32) was immediately taken to the Mater Hospital where he tried to hand over a stash of heroin to a hospital porter. The drugs were subsequently found by the doctor treating him.

Garda Adrian Buckley told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, Hopkins later told gardai he owed money for drugs and when the gardai arrived, he thought it was someone else and was convinced he was going to be shot.

Gda Buckley agreed with Anne-Marie Lawlor BL, defending, that Hopkins had a “very real fear because of a debt he owed to unsavoury characters”, who he said had earlier called at his home.

He accepted that Hopkins was not trying to evade arrest at the time and that he had jumped, from what Hopkins claimed was the third floor, because he was afraid he was going to be shot.

Hopkins of Church Street, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to possession of €7,507 worth of heroin for sale or supply at his home on April 11, 2009. He has previous convictions for burglary, larceny and drugs.

Gda Buckley said when gardai arrived at Hopkins’s home the TV was on and the window was open. They forced open the door and saw that Hopkins was lying on the ground in front of the apartment.

He spent over two months in hospital and underwent numerous surgeries. Hopkins was arrested upon his release from hospital and made admissions during subsequent garda interviews.

He claimed he was holding the drugs because he owed money but was “dipping” into the stash of heroin for his own personal use.

Gda Buckley told the court that Hopkins had not come to garda attention for eight years before this drug seizure and has not committed a further offence since.

Ms Lawlor told Judge Martin Nolan that her client has since dealt with his drug addiction and is now living with his mother.

She said he had broken “a huge number of bones” and has “no recollection” of asking the hospital porter to mind the drugs.

Judge Nolan said Hopkins misunderstood who the gardai were. “He took flight, leaped from a window and sustained injuries when he collided with the path below,” the judge said.

He accepted that Hopkins’s involvement with the drugs seized was at the lowest level before he imposed a three year sentence which he suspended in full on strict conditions.

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